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Project profile

Healthy Food, Healthy Workplace

Malnutrition is known to be an extensive problem among garment factory workers, with recent research showing that 33% of workers are medically malnourished, 25% seriously so. Incidences of fainting are common; with pregnant women at particularly high risk. The impacts of malnutrition on the health of their unborn child is also of concern. Diarrhea is also a huge cause of illness, contributing to time off work and ongoing health issues.


CARE has been working in the garment industry in Cambodia since 1998 and worked with over 75 factories in 2015. Factory managers who have engaged with CARE have reported improved attendance and increased productivity among project participants, as well as much better communication and teamwork. Workers have also had improved access to health and hygiene information through life skills training. With Healthy Food, Healthy Workplace, CARE aims to learn from previous  work and develop this further to focus in particular on impacting workers’ overall nutrition.


In this project, CARE is working to improve workers’ knowledge of nutrition behaviour so they can make informed decisions about their diet. CARE is also engaging with vendors around factories to improve the food options available to garment workers and reduce unhygienic practices. Looking to the future, CARE is seeking ways to address malnutrition and hygiene by working with ILO’s Better Factories Cambodia and the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (MoLVT) to address occupational health and safety around fainting and engaging with retailers.



1. Improve workers’ knowledge on nutrition, steer positive eating habits and empower them make healthy choices.


2. Create an enabling environment to support workers access healthy, hygienic and nutritious food by working with food vendors and  Factory teams.


Key activities
Project activities include:


1.    Formative Research

  • Understand the nutritional needs and practices of garment factory workers

  •  Review factors related to  accessibility and availability of healthy food for workers and the key factors influencing food choices


2.   Working with food vendors

  •  Encouraging improved hygiene practices

  •  To offer food  choices that are not only tasty but also nutritious

  •  Mapping opportunities and supporting joint initiatives between management and food vendors


3.   Behaviour Change Communication (BCC)

  •  Improving  nutrition awareness and behaviours among workers through  exciting audio    visual tools and activities  



2016 – 2019



3 garment factories in Phnom Penh & Kandal Provinces.



Garment factory workers and food vendors

Project partners


  • Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training(MoLVT)


  • Phnom Penh Municipal Health Department (MHD)

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